Some new mums LICK their baby after birth – here’s why…

Cats, dogs, horses and other new mammas in the animal kingdom lick their infants after birth, and not just to clean them.

We are also animals, but this isn’t something you’ll find happening regularly in the maternity suites. However, there are some mums who do run their tongues across their babies after they have given birth to them.

Two cultures in particular where this is still practiced – Tibetans and Inuits. A recent birth photo shared by a photographer from Senhoritas Fotografia shows it’s still very much a thing.

Here are the reasons behind why some mums lick their babies after birth…

Why some animals lick their young

It seems mammals tend to lick their young to warn off the scent of birth from predators and also to consume the nutrients after birth – kinda like placenta capsulation.

It may also be a type of bonding, a bit like skin-to-skin, but in this case tongue-to-skin.

Humans may feel like they don’t have the urge to lick their little ones, as there aren’t wolves or other predators hanging around the maternity wards these days.

Doula and childbirth educator Flor Cruz, who shared the Senhoritas Fotografia snap on her Facebook page, says….

“Mammals still lick their newborns and eat the afterbirth. Except for most humans. But humans at one point in time used to exhibit all of these same behaviors (sic),” says Cruz.

“We have evolved since then and do not feel the need anymore to keep predators away, we stimulate baby in other forms and have other ways to do all the things we once worried about that triggered us to lick our babies so instinctively.

“2 cultures today can still be seen licking their newborns, the Tibetans and Inuit.

“Most of us have the urge to lick but resist the urge to do it and we have evolved our licking instinct into smelling our babies, kissing them vigorously, holding them close and we have returned to consuming our placentas. 

“All this also sends your body signals on what anti-bodies to send your baby through breastmilk, it stimulates your baby, bonds and socializes him.

“But some mothers still have the strong urge to lick their newborns. And they do just that. A physiological necessity. A calling from ancestors. Instinctual acts of love and ensuring the survival of young.”

So there you have it, licking you baby is a thing – and for good reason!

Experts say wanting to ‘EAT’ your baby makes you a great parent!

Five ways to reuse your placenta

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